Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Shakespeare on love (9)

Your brother and my sister no sooner met but they looked;
no sooner looked but they loved;
no sooner loved but they sighed;
no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason;
no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shakespeare on love (8)

For such as I am, all true lovers are,
unstaid and skittish in all motions else
save in the constant image of the creature
that is beloved.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

O Let it Freely Burn

From the Forward Day by Day devotional, for May 31, 2009:

Here am I, O Love divine.
I rise, I dress, I eat, I work, play sleep, and rise again.
It’s not a bad life, and yet it leaves a cold and empty place within me.
So come down, O Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down!
Seek thou this soul of mine, for I cannot seek thee.
I know neither where nor how to look.
Seek thou this soul of mine, and visit it with thine own ardor glowing.
Warm the cold and fill the empty place with thyself, for thou thyself art warmth and thou thyself art fullness.
Thou art all compassion; pure unbounded love thou art.
O Comforter, draw near.
Nearer and nearer draw to me till thou art nearer than the breath in my lungs and the beat of my heart.
Within my heart appear—be seen be felt, rule.
And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing, until my heart burns with holy fire.
Then let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn to dust and ashes in its heat consuming, with a flame no ocean can quench.
Unhindered, unchecked, O let it freely burn!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shakespeare on love (7)

So tedious is this day
as is the night before some festival
to an impatient child that hath new robes
and may not wear them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shakespeare on love (6)

I am giddy. Expectation whirls me round.
The'imaginary relish is so sweet
That it enchants my sense.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

St. Francis de Sales on confidence in God

"The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God."

Love letters from home

Yesterday I named the series I'll be teaching. I'm calling it "Love letters from home."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time to get off the bench...

A few weeks ago God began whispering to me "Get off the bench."

Part of me wondered what the heck He was talking about; I'm working for Him constantly.

But most of me knew what He meant.

And then the door opened.

Starting in June, I will be introducing a group of women to the concepts I play with here. Please pray for me; that the women would blossom in response to the intimacy He desires with them.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pencils in the hand of God

We are all pencils in the hand of a writing God, who is sending love letters to the world.

-- Mother Teresa

Magical decoys for eternal delights

From Care of the Soul (Ch. 4):

"'What is human love? What is its purpose? It is the desire for union with a beautiful object in order to make eternity available to mortal life.' It is a fundamental teaching of the Neo-platonists that earthly pleasures are an invitation to eternal delights. Ficino says that these things of ordinary life that enchant us toward eternity are 'magical decoys.' In other words, what appears to be a fully earthly relationship between two human individuals is at the same time a path toward far deeper experiences of the soul. ... The early Romantic German poet Novalis put it quite simply: love, he says, was not made for this world."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Desire for pure absorption

From Care of the Soul (Ch. 4):

"There is something about being in love that wishes for blindness, pure absorption and freedom from complexity."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Only one cure

From Care of the Soul (Ch. 4):

"A general principle we can take from Freud is that love sparks imagination to extraordinary activity. Being 'in love' is like being 'in imagination.' The literal concerns of everyday life, yesterday such a preoccupation, now practically disappear in the rush of love's daydreams. Concrete reality recedes as the imaginal world settles in. Thus, the 'divine madness' of love is akin to the mania of paranoia and other dissociations.

Does this mean that we need to be cured of this madness? Robert Burton in his massive self-help book of the seventeenth century, The Anatomy of Melancholy, says there is only one cure for the melancholic sickness of love: enter into it with abandon."

Friday, May 15, 2009

On unearthly cravings

From Care of the Soul (Ch. 4)

"Love releases us into the realm of divine imagination, where the soul is expanded and reminded of its unearthly cravings and needs. We think that when a lover inflates his loved one he is failing to acknowledge her flaws--'Love is blind.' But it may be the other way around. Love allows a person to see the true angelic nature of another person, the halo, the aureole of divinity. "

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Not to mention a Saturday morning...

Knowing you'll have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.

-- Vladimir Nabokov

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Come see a man who told me everything I have done

During devotions this morning I began to think about how the scriptures repeatedly couple the concepts of marital infidelity and deific infidelity.

I've also been thinking of how many Gospel encounters describe Jesus' interacting with women in sexual sin. He seems to have a special affinity for them.

And I wonder why this is. I haven't come to any conclusions yet, just still wondering.

Monday, May 11, 2009

On dancing before the Lord with abandon

In yesterday's musical worship at mass I thought about David's abandoned dance before God, contrasted with my own reserved participation in the act of singing as praying twice.

I love to dance. What a joy it would be to enter into whole-body worship of Him who is song itself. But it's hard to picture entering into the sensuality of dance amidst the congregation, those people who know me but don't -know- me.

My dance would be lovemaking from a distance. My dance would be the enchanted swaying of a charmed snake. My dance would be a cry for union.

My dance would make them uncomfortable and suspicious.

So once again I realize that I am both like and unlike my namesake. Like him, I long to dance with abandon before my Lord. But unlike him, I refrain because of the reaction of those who would witness it.

Monday epiphany

I think I want some purple shoes.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


A client sang part of this to me over the phone one of the first times I spoke to him a few years back. The recent Hokey Music post caused me to stumble over it, and I realized I'd never heard the real thing.

Suzanne by Leonard Cohen, sung by Neil Diamond

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Blessed assurance

A friend told me on Wednesday that she'd dreamt a strange dream of me the night before. She said that I was covered in tattoos (in RL I have none) of planets and stars which twirled and spun. She said it was very beautiful and she kept calling people to come over and see.

She woke wondering what it was about, and then thought about it and decided it was because she wanted everyone to know how awesome I was.

What a lovely gift for her to give me, from God's lips. He was speaking to me at a time when I needed to hear such a thing from Him.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hokey music alert!

Neil Diamond's Play Me is running through my head this morning, which suits my mood. I looked up the lyrics, but decided to post just the refrain:

You are the sun
I am the moon
You are the words
I am the tune
Play me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hopefully not...

I don't fear death at all, though I do fear certain methods of dying. For example, while topping off the air pressure in a tire this morning, I remembered my fear of dying by exploding, over-full tire.

Eschatological Procreation

I wonder what sort of procreation will occur in the fulfillment of time, with our resurrected bodies and Christ as our bridegroom?

Monday, May 4, 2009

An apple by any other name

I sought the impossible;
a word to describe you.
The closest I came

--Chantelle Franc

Victorious denial

I realized yesterday that all my greatest victories, my greatest conquests, have been acts of submission and self denial.